Body pain is pretty awful, right? Sure it is! Whether you accidentally stub your toe, or you slam that pathetic flap of skin you call your genitalia against the wall on a racquetball court in front of a standing room-only audience of horrified children on purpose, chances are slim that the aching part of your physique isn’t the worst part of your day. The relief might be grand, or maybe it feels amazing to just not owe money to the mob for the first time in your adult life, but the pain? No, no thank you.
Worse still is when the pain lingers, when it’s constant and invasive. When you wince in pain, can’t move, and you feel wholly dominated by that little series of signals being sent up and down your nervous system, you know you’re going steady with pain and you’re an abused spouse in the relationship. And as far as that relationship goes, I’ve been an abused spouse for months now.
I guess I’m dealing with some monstrous version of sciatica. I don’t know, as I’ve been reliant on the Internet for all of my medical information in lieu of an actual doctor’s visit, and we all know just how accurate the self-diagnosis from a man holding a mighty Bachelor’s degree in English can be, especially when it’s powered by pained panic and widely-disseminated misinformation!
I’m going on Monday, though, and I’m very anxious to be diagnosed and cured with great swiftness. Some claw-bearing, tenacious fragment of my reptilian brain has somehow managed to hijack my entire thought process as it relates to this upcoming doctor’s visit, comforting me with an audacious disregard for failure, a recovery process, or anything else not typifying an immediate cessation of all the pain currently traveling from my left ass cheek to my upper left calf. Of course, somewhere in my mind I understand that “swiftness” is little more than my best-case wish upon a star, but pretty much any improvement on my current state of barely being able to walk will be incredible.
In the meantime, I have about 3 more days of whining, limping, and bitching to do, as well as a good deal of wondering just what it is this doctor will do for me. I’ve already spent a great deal of time in my terse little life wasted on painkillers, and while that’s a great way to waste if one’s into wasting, I wouldn’t offer that as first-line therapy for a person who has things to do. Like, anything at all. Hell, there’s a whole slew of movies from 2004-2012 not called Martyrs that I can’t remember for the life of me, and a younger Me would agree with Old Man Me today in thinking that such a lapse is a regrettable character flaw in my overall curriculum vitae.
I’ve heard of cortisone shots, physical therapy, acupuncture and horsecock sucking as possible remedies for what’s ailing me here, and I’m willing to try 3 out of the 4, but none of these figure into the actual dialogues I’m having regarding the situation. Matter of fact, the only options that have been openly muttered into this sweet world’s embrace are:
1) The doctor will jam reinforcing steel rods into my legs, giving me a very bloody makeshift polio brace inside my leg. Then, the same doctor will electrify the rods, filling my body with smoke, flame and power as I briefly celebrate the horrifically crude “robot leg” I’ve been gifted just before my descent into septic shock, coma, and finally death.
2) The doctor will remove the leg outright, and replace it with an actual robot leg, Terminator-style. There is likely a gun attached to this leg, because of course there’s a gun attached to a robot leg. I then go home and learn how to sew, because superheroes need costumes.
3) The doctor again opts for wholesale amputation of the leg, to be spirited away to a fancy spa retreat. There, the appendage will be dressed in scented, oiled linens and cast into a well full of scorpions, presumably as an offering to one of the more major demons. I’m left with only one leg, but that’s not so radically different from my situation right now.
4) Once more, our intrepid physician severs the leg, and again the limb will be cast into a deep well with ebbs and flows like the Nile, were the Nile filled with scorpions instead of water. These scorpions, however, are some manner of healing scorpions that the world has yet to imagine, and they sting the pain right out of the leg. I’m lowered by the other leg into the well to retrieve the severed one, which is then reattached to my body. At that point, all I have to do is mind the healing of the reattachment zone, slathering Mederma on it in hopes that the wound doesn’t scar over so heinously that I can’t look great in a bikini again come next summer!
Unfortunately, healing sciatica doesn’t have a ton to do with the leg at all. Sure, that’s where the nerve resides, but the source is in the lower back. So even if the best of the above enumerated options transpired (option #3, natch), I could still be feeling sciatic pain in my phantom limb, completely negating all the good work that sacrificing a limb to the darkest champions of Hell could possibly do! Apparently, I just can’t win.
And it’s true: I can’t. My picture’s on a cosmic wall, and all the big names in creating/destroying are taking turns tossing lightning bolts at my third eye bullseye. But hey! At least the brief conversations I’ve had regarding the matter have been inspiring. And in a life that even the Buddha says finds its essence in suffering, inspiration is sometimes the difference between bitching about a pained leg and bitching about a pained leg while having a laugh in the meanwhile.